Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Ok, so you actually get two posts from me today!  I managed to pull one together covering 3 of the days I've missed from my photo challenge.

Inspiration comes in many forms. Three of the pictures from the challenge I can put into this category. Day 13 asked for my favorite band or artist, day 16 for someone who inspires me and day 23 for my favorite book. All three of these pictures give me inspiration in different ways and for different reasons.

My favorite band or artist was hard. I know they meant musical band or artist, but I went into other arts as well, since all art, not just music, has played such a large part in my life. I chose Ansel Adams as my “favorite”. Like I’ve said before, it is very hard for me to ever choose a favorite anything. But, today Ansel is my favorite. He’s another one of those people I want to be when I grow up. His images are so powerful and masterful. The patience he had to see the potential image and then actually wait for the light to be just right and think about the exposure and the angle and all the other things that go into making a spectacular photograph, not just a snapshot.

I’ve been working most of my life on “seeing” things. I was lucky enough that at an early age, even before I could use a camera, my parents were teaching me to see, to watch, to think about the images. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, so many of my favorite childhood memories include taking walks with our cameras and then receiving those little yellow boxes full of slides in the mail and talking about the photographs we took. The smell of darkroom chemicals will always bring back fond memories.

I hope some day that I’ll be able to pick up my camera again and “see” things. Lately I’ve been taking too many “snapshots” and not enough “photographs”. I need to slow down again, see what’s around me and think about it and figure out how to capture the essence of the moment.

In some ways it’s easier now with digital cameras or at least less expensive in the long run. I will always miss working in the dark room to take a negative that’s not quite good enough and turn it into something amazing. I’m a very hands-on kind of girl and while Photoshop and the like can do a million more things than you could easily do in the darkroom, it’s not quite as satisfying to me. And some times, the instant gratification of the digital image takes some of the fun and excitement out of it. There was nothing compared to the anxiety of putting your roll of film into one of those little yellow Kodak envelopes and sending it off to get processed and then the very long wait to see what all that hard work yielded.

Day 16 asked for someone who inspires me. One of my childhood heroes was Sally Ride. She was the first American woman to go into space. She has worked long and hard over the years to get girls interested in science and to follow their dreams. I recently read some interesting things about Sally. Like the fact that she originally wanted to be a professional tennis player, but realized while she had the drive, she didn’t have the raw talent. She pushed herself hard and has done so much. I heard a lecture by her while I was in high school. She was amazing to listen to. I think the lesson I take from Sally is that anything is possible as long as you have the drive and you put your best talents to work for you. That’s something I still struggle with today.

Day 23 asked for my favorite book. Again with the favorites! Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a book work and then some. I love books. I love to read. I’ll read just about anything. I do love certain genres more than others, but I’ll give just about anything a shot. There are some books, however, that I return to time and time again. One of those is To Kill a Mocking Bird. I first read this book in 6th grade. I think I’ve read it a half a dozen more times since then. Even though I know the story well and the characters are all old friends, I still like to go back and visit.

I truly identify with Scout Finch in many ways. I was too smart for my own good, I don’t always “get” social situations, and I’d much rather be playing in the mud in my overalls than being a pretty girl stuck in a dress. There is so much more to her though. She really is a kind soul just trying to figure out how this crazy, messed up world works and wondering why it all can’t be right and why the “good” people have bad things happen to them. I draw strength from Atticus and his relationship with his daughter and the faith he has in doing the right thing, even if it isn’t the popular thing. I think that’s the biggest lesson for me in that book. Well, maybe two. Like Scout, I need to be true to myself and who I am and like Atticus, I need to do the right thing, even if it isn’t the popular thing. I think I’m pretty good at both of these, but there are days I need to be reminded of them.

So, I bid you peace and may you find inspiration where you may.

Not Dead Yet...

I think this is the longest I've ever abandoned my blog.  That's not to say I haven't been coming for a visit now and again, I just haven't had the time, energy or inclination to post.
I've been in a bit of a funk recently.  A lot of it has to do with work stuff, but there's been some out-of-work things that have been keeping my attention away from this space or feeling like posting too.  (I know, I know, that's why I have this blog, at least in part, to get that funk out of my head and onto "paper"... but I just couldn't get anything coherent out.)
I've also been very busy.  Work has both been good and bad, but right now is mostly just frustrating.  Both for the tasks I've got to get done and for the attitudes of myself and my coworkers and the management.  It's been a tense time, but mostly from Spring Fever more than anything.  Every spring we go through a bit of a quarrelsome time.  This too shall pass.
This should tell you both how busy and how much of a funk I have been in this past month... I didn't even touch my camera until about the 20th!  Yep, I was supposed to get boy-dragon pictures this month and I never did.  Oh well, June will be here before you know it!  (That is another post entirely!)

So, while I take a little time between today and tomorrow to try and come up with a couple of posts with most of my photo challenge that I've failed at, I'll give a quick rundown of the month.
Yes, it's going to be a bulleted list because a little boy just walked into the living room.  This may not be in chronological order, but these are the highlights I remember.

* Dinner with the Ducks.  Bob and Linda Duck came over one Monday early in the month for dinner with Mom, Boo and I.  It was quite an enjoyable evening.

* Boo has grown like a weed.  He's now wearing 3T tops AND bottoms.  (He'd been in 3T tops since the fall/winter.)  He needs the 3T bottoms for length, but the 2T are still a bit big in the waist.)

* This weekend was a super hectic one.  Saturday night Gak and I went and saw Seamus Kennedy and it was a blast.  Sunday morning the three of us left early to go down to Baltimore to celebrate Ethan's first birthday and then Monday I took off work to celebrate Amma's birthday with her (it was really Friday).  Boo and I joined her at the Y and after breakfast the three of us headed to the Philly Zoo to break in the membership Jon and Becca got us for Christmas.  It was cold but fun.

* We were teased with warm spring weather but have slipped back into winter again I think.  Last I checked they were calling for snow on Friday, which is the hope opener for the Phillies.  Snow?  What?

* I'm not sure if I've mentioned it or not, but Gak and I have migrated to a new game.  We're now playing Rift.  Yes, that's taken up a lot of my evenings when I could/should have been posting.  We're playing with some of his friends from OK and it's been quite fun.

* I've reconnected with still more friends on Facebook.  Lissa found me, and I'm so very happy to catch up with her again.  I've also reconnected with a few other college friends as well.  And no, I haven't been posting there much more than here...

*  Boo is really beginning to enter the Very Trying Threes at times.  His language is exploding and most of the time he's a very nice little boy to be around, but when he's not, boy is he NOT.  Oh well, we'll survive this stage too.

I think that's about it for the highlights of what we've been up to.  I hope to write more (and post a LOT more pictures) soon!

Peace to you all and may months not slip away without you noticing.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Ok, I'm skipping the next two picture requests on the list, but I promise to come back to them.  Instead, I'll skip ahead (er, behind) to numbers 11 and 12.
I'll put them here and give you a chance to guess what they're supposed to be:

Number 11

Number 12

Ok, do you have any ideas?
They go together, and not just because they're both food.
Actually, I made them go together because they are food.
You see, number 11 is supposed to be something I hate, while number 12 is supposed to be something I love.  There are so very many things in this world that I love.  I love my wonderful husband and our son and all my friends and family.  I love hiking and camping and being out of doors.
But, there are very few things in this world that I hate.  Unfortunately, vegetables are right at the top of my list.  You see, to me, many of them taste like dirt.  Yep, dirt.  Or they stink to high heaven or are both mushy and crunchy in a weird way at the same time.  Don't get me wrong, most vegetables are beautiful.  A saute of green and yellow summer squash is beautiful, but I just can't seem to enjoy eating it.  And those ripe, red tomatoes, it can't get much more summery and beautiful than that.  (And yes, technically tomatoes are fruit, but still... they fall into the veggie category for me.)

So, since I chose vegetables as one of the very few things that I can actually say that I hate on this planet, I chose one of my most favorite foods as my love for this little exercise.  Yes, that's a very yummy Grotto's Pizza.  I'm a sucker for pizza.  And I love Grotto's.  Although, I will admit, there are days when the memory of Grotto's Pizza is what I love.  You see, there is really only one place that they exist, and that's in Delaware. Yes, there's one up in the Scranton area, which is original, but it's not the same.  Even the one in Wilmington isn't as good as the ones in Rehoboth.  There are so many memories of Grotto's Pizza.

Fortunately for me, I do eat more of the vegetables' cousins, fruits and even manage to get in some green matter as well than pizza these days.  But, it's really all about balance.  I also couldn't live off pizza alone any more.  I'm glad for that.

So, I'll wrap this up with wishes for taste buds and a mentality that enjoys, or at least tolerates, veggies and the option of enjoying the extra yummy, but not so healthy options as well.

Peace to you all and may you have some good food along the way.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I'm pretty far behind in my photo challenge, but I'm still plugging along.  I may end up combining some days into one post, just so I can catch up.
The 8th photo on the list was for one that makes me laugh.  Yes, I have all kinds of pictures of Boo that make me smile and giggle and outright laugh.  But there was one, lurking in the back of my photos on Flickr that really makes me grin.  Maybe not laugh so much, but I really appreciate it.
This is from a trip out to Arizona in 2007.  I was in Phoenix and I had a little free time, so I went exploring.  Just outside of Phoenix I saw this sign:
There wasn't really a tree in sight.  There was lots and lots of scrub and some cacti, but nothing I, as an Easterner, could really call a forest.  Therefore, to me, this sign is pure irony.
That's not to say that there weren't any trees.  Just that they were few and far between.  Like this cottonwood.

Anyhow, the whole situation seemed a little surreal to me.
But I love that kind of thing.  Thanks to my dad, I've got a fairly unique perspective on the world and sense of humor.  Dad loves word play, finding the absurd in the literal and the literal in the absurd.  You're never quite sure exactly how he's going to twist something around on it's head and make you laugh.  Or, at least I laugh because I can see the humor in it.  Unfortunately for me, too many people just don't get the humor in it.
This caused me some real problems in school, especially in college where half my professors were stuffy old men.  (Not Big Wolf though, he was an old man and a Marine, but there was a big heart and a small sense of humor lurking underneath the gruff exterior...)  And most of the ones that weren't stuffy old men, were young professors or adjuncts who were trying to prove themselves serious to these stuffy old men.  That left someone like me, who has taken Dad's advice that life is to serious to be taken seriously to heart, a little bit baffled and misunderstood at times.  I can't tell you how many times something that I thought was quite witty and funny fell flat because my audience just didn't see the humor.  But, that's OK.  Some people get it, and I get it, so that's why I keep trying.
For example, I pointed out the irony of the National Forest sign to some people at work saying how it amused me (fully understanding the designation, but still finding it funny) and I start to get a lecture on National Forests and blah, blah, blah (I tuned out about here since they totally missed my point...).  But, I still enjoy it.  I still try and find the humor in the every day.

Peace to you all and may you find humor in your life.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


The next photo on the list (not like I've been actually posting pictures... but that's another story...) is a picture of my most treasured possession.

Again, I had some tough choices. For the holidays I got two very nice necklaces, from different people. My husband and son got me a beautiful white gold chain and a tree of life pendant. I adore it, especially since it came from them. Then, Kat got matching necklaces for me, her and Steph. Again, it's very special because of who it's from and the feeling behind it. (I'd been without a day-to-day necklace for most of the year, an now suddenly I have two I love that I have to choose from! It really is a tough choice...)

But, then I realized that as much as I treasure these two things and the feelings and thoughts that went into them coming into my life, there is one thing that I have that I treasure even more.

Actually, it's a collection of things.

It's a little red vinyl pouch that’s filled with all of Gram’s crochet hooks. It’s special because crochet was a favorite pastime of hers. It’s special because they belonged to a woman who I love very dearly and the one who taught me, so many years ago, the basics. But, I think what makes them the most special is that she gave them to me herself, just a few weeks before she passed. She wanted me to have them. She knew I’d put them to good use. She knew I would treasure them. And I do.

I will admit, that I don’t always go to her hooks first when I’m about to start a project. As much as I love owning them, the style of hook she mostly has is not what I prefer. Gak got me a beautiful set of bamboo hooks a few years back for my birthday and I love how light weight they are and the shape of the hook (Bates not Boye for those in the know). I prefer the Bates style for most yarns that I work with. But, there are times when I use one of Gram’s hooks instead of one of mine. I used them to make baby blankets for friends and family. I use them when I want a little extra love to go into what I’m making. I have future plans for things to make with her hooks.

So, they may not get used all the time, but they are very treasured and loved and yes, used.

I’ve actually been able to get a good bit of crochet in now and again lately. I’m still in the middle of a scarf/wrap that I started back in the fall, but it’s my traveling project. Stephanie, one of the teachers at Boo’s school, left for another daycare last week, so I made her a fun fun-fur scarf in a morning. I made a warm snuggly blanket for a baby boy that’s going to be born soon to Kat’s niece. I’ve got about 3 other projects either on the hooks or in the works. I have many more that I want to do that I don’t have yarn or patterns yet.

I just wish I had more time. I wish I had more time for crochet and reading and computer games and my son and husband and cleaning… and… and… and…. Yes, time would be a nice thing, but for now, I’ll squeeze in what I can, where I can and enjoy every moment of it.

So, I wish you all peace and may you have treasures that were given from the heart, to the heart.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Yesterday I was supposed to post a picture of someone I'd want to trade places with for a day.  My first response was to say that I want to trade places with my mom 30 years ago for the day.  She had the job that I really want, mom and wife.  So many people don't see the value in that job, but I do.  But, I also thought that I get to do that, every Saturday and Sunday.  Most of Saturday I have my son all to myself, and Sunday none of us has to do anything if we don't want.  (Well, other than making sure Boo gets a nap hopefully....)  I also thought that one day isn't really enough time to get to experience everything that being my mom to a 5 and 3-year-old child is like.
Then I thought about all the people that I wouldn't want to be.  I wouldn't want to trade places with the President of the US, no matter who they are.  I just don't want that kind of responsibility.  I also wouldn't want to be a Congressman, Senator or anyone else with that kind of responsibility.  As much as I respect what Steve and all my friends and family who have or are serving our country do, I'm not sure I could take their place either.    I wouldn't want to change places with the trash man, or a fast-food place worker or one of a hundred other jobs or people.
Maybe, I'd like to trade places with Ansel Adams.  To see life through his eyes, so see how he sees light and shadow and paints with them on film and paper.  Maybe I'd like to trade places with a school teacher and see what I might have been if I'd followed everyone's advice.  Maybe I'd like to be a farmer or a rancher in Montana, to see if it is either as romantic or as back breaking as the popular myths go.
All in all, as much as I complain about my life, I'm glad for it.  I have a family who loves me, a good job that I may complain about from time to time, and wonderful friends to share it all with.

But, having said that, there is one person I'd love to switch places with for the day.  That would be me.  Yes, me from the summer of 1994.  That was my best year at Tohi and it was such a wonderful time full of fun, adventure, friends and growth.
Unfortunately, I don't really have pictures for any of this.  And it's not as well thought out or presented as it is in my head.  I'm tired, very tired.  I don't know why either.  I've been getting good sleep and there hasn't been anything extra stressful at work at anything.  And yes, I'm perfectly aware I'm rambling now.

So, on that note, and as poor a transition as I've ever made, I'm going to bid you peace.

Monday, March 07, 2011


I was lazy yesterday and didn't get around to posting. So, you'll have to deal with two posts from me today. The next request on the list of photos is a picture of your favorite memory.

Here it is with the favorites again. If you ask me my favorite anything, you'll probably get a different answer depending on the day of the week, time of day and general mood. And no, if you ask me my favorite dessert (as opposed to deserts, that’s a totally different story) it will not always be "chocolate!" I love too many other desserts that don't have a trace of chocolate in them. I guess I just have a hard time differentiating between liking something and really loving it as a favorite.
So, today (well, yesterday really) I was asked for a picture of my favorite memory. Again, is this supposed to be my favorite memory EVER (that’s a pretty good number of days at this point), this decade, year, or hour?

There’s my favorite memory from school (again, high school, middle or elementary?) which would probably be either that warm glow of memories I have from Earhart Environmental Complex, or my stream study or Wallops Island trip in high school.

There’s my favorite memory from Girl Scouts, which I’m pretty sure I covered last time, or maybe it’s when I met Kat since that was a Girl Scout trip, or maybe it was the first camping trips I took with my original Brownie troop in Kansas.

There’s my favorite summer memory, which seems to be a whole bunch of things all rolled into one. That would be all the time spent on the beach and in Rehoboth and at Gram’s summer house and with all her friends and "family". Those were really wonderful days.  (On a side note, why can't summers feel that long as adults?  They're just too short these days!)

I'm not sure what my favorite family vacation memory would be.  I have hazy memories of a couple of trips, but the one I reacall the most clearly is the feel of the cold hard-wood floor on my bare feet when I would get up in the mornings when we went to New Mexico.  I've also got other memories from that trip as well, like my father sitting on a cactus and having to cary my brother across a stream at the end of a hike we were on.

My favorite memory this winter has to be going sledding with the family at Kat’s house. We all had a great time and Boo is old enough to really enjoy the snow now.

My favorite memory from Oklahoma is when I went out to lunch with Jim Brockman (and maybe Tenney?) to the cheap Chinese place and I met my husband and the two tall guys played “keep away” with my hat. I don’t think I laughed that hard any other time when I was out there.

But, I’d have to say my favorite memory from the last few years has to be of seeing my wonderful husband hold our wonderful son for the first time. It was exciting and scary and happy all at once. It was an ending of being a couple and the beginning of being a family. There was so much ahead of us, and there still is, on this roller coaster ride called parenthood. The tenderness (and probably sheer terror) that Gak showed as he stood there, holding our son, our miracle, was amazing. It was in that one moment that he really became a dad; it cemented it all into the realm of the real, not just the surreal.

Of course, all the memories together that lead up to that memory are just as important, just as vital. Our wedding, the travel, the trying to make ends meet and trying to figure out how this whole roller coaster works are all important. (I, at any rate, still don’t understand how this roller coaster works, but I’m loving the ride, so I’m OK with that.)

There are all kinds of other wonderful memories that bounce around my head and make me smile. But, I really can’t pinpoint one above the others as the end all, be all favorite. Without any one of them, my life would be so much less.

Of course, this whole discussion of memory makes me cringe and worry a bit. It also makes me a little sad. It makes me sad because I watch, from afar, my dad as his memory slowly, and not so slowly, betrays him. I cringe and worry because if I think about it too hard, the what-ifs start circling through my head. Both about Dad’s past and my future. Therefore, I tend to just push it all aside, live in the moment like I’m so good at doing and just treasure what I do have. It still eats at me every time we go visit my parents. I still wonder each and every time what memories my son will have of his only living grandfather, since we lost Gak’s dad before Boo was born. But, all that does is bread worry and ulcers, two things I really don’t need. So, I push it aside, promising to deal with it later. I don’t want to, but I will have to. I just hope I have a very, very long time before I really have to worry.

I’m going to wrap this up here with the thought that memories are both precious and tenuous. Treasure them all and share them frequently. You also never know when sharing one of your favorite memories will bring light to someone’s day who thought you forgot or didn’t care.

Peace to you all and may your memories be happy and sound.

Saturday, March 05, 2011


Today I share a picture of my favorite night.  This may not be my most favorite night ever, but it has to be one of my most favorite nights this year.  (The list of my most favorite nights include the night we went to the hospital when Boo was born, the night of my wedding (hush you!), the first night Gak and I spent together when he came to visit, all the wonderful concerts and other events I've been to with friends and family over the years.)

This is actually not a picture of that night, but of the next morning.  You see, this was the picture I took of Boo first thing in the morning on our camping trip back in August.  I was so happy to be able to share my love of camping with the boys.  Yes, there were some pretty un-fun moments that weekend, but it was still a wonderful trip in my mind.  There is almost nothing I love more than sitting by a campfire and just hanging out, either by myself or with friends and family.  Luckily, most of my friends and family feel the same.

Actually, thinking about camping and campfires and trips, I go back over 15 years now to a very special night.  Unfortunately, it was the night of Kat's graduation, which I missed.  But, I missed it for very good reason.  You see, I was having a graduation of my own of sorts.  It was the end of pre-camp the first year I was a counselor at Tohi.  It was the night we were presented with our staff ties and bear scares.  Being part of Girl Scouts, it was rich in tradition and ceremony and meaning.  The power of the night was heavy and warm.  This was a dream come true for me.  I was so over the top and emotional.  I remember crying when they finally called my name.  I was so happy.  It's been over 15 years now and I still can remember the emotion of that night, that camp fire, like it was yesterday.  I don't remember all the people or the words that were said, but I remember the power, the emotion and the joy of that night.

Normally, I'm not a ceremony person at all.  I didn't grow up with much in the way of ceremony, at least not religious ceremony.  The only ceremony I had on a regular basis were the ones in Girl Scouts.  The little weekly ones of opening and closing circle.  The yearly ones of year ending and summer camp.  The "big" ones that happened whenever you bridged from one age group to the next.  And they were powerful to me, even when they stopped having meaning to many of the other girls in my troops.  That's because I believed.  I believed with all my heart in what the heart of Girl Scouts is.  I believe in the spirit of the Promise and the Laws and try and truly make them the root of my being.  They are good words to live by, no matter who you are or where you come from.  So, yes, the ceremony at camp when I finally became a counselor was extra powerful to me.  It didn't hurt that I was part of a really great, and fairly close group of women (and a few men).  The next year wasn't so powerful for me.  There was much trial and tribulation that year starting with pre-camp and going throughout the entire summer season for me.  But, I made it through and the closing campfire of pre-camp was still powerful, but not as intense.

With that thought, I'm going to wrap this up and bid you all peace.

Friday, March 04, 2011


Today I'm supposed to post a picture of the cast of my favorite TV show.  This is one of those that I'm going to have trouble with.
You see, I don't have a favorite TV show, at least not really.  Yes, I do watch TV, but no where near the amount that many people do.  I don't seem to follow shows more than a season or two, or if I do, it's hit or miss.  There have been shows that have grabbed me and held my attention, but I usually wander off before they've run their course.  (Of course, Gak has Dr. Who on and I just spent the last 5 minutes being mesmerized...)
So, yeah, back to the topic at hand, television.  I have shows that I've enjoyed over the years.  There was Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and Captain Kangaroo and Nova and 3-2-1 Contact.. Yes, all PBS shows.  Then a little later there was Mr. Wizard and Dangermouse.  I won't lie, I wanted to be Mr. Wizard when I grew up.  I wanted to "do" science.  I remember watching MASH with my parents growing up and liking it (I enjoy it even more now that I "get" it.)  We watched a few other shows now and then too, but nothing that really sticks in my head.

For me, books were always more of a draw than TV.  It didn't hurt that my dad's an avid reader and both my parents encouraged reading.  I also remember not being allowed more than an hour or two of TV outside of my parents watching the news or a show or two in the evening for many, many years.  I was also not really allowed cartoons (either that or I just thought I wasn't because I had such limited TV time...) until I was 10 or so.  Yes, this made life a little difficult with my friends some days when they would talk about things that I just had no clue about.  And yes, that still happens on a frequent basis.  I'm used to it though.

But, now I'm the parent.  Now Gak and I have to decide how much TV is good and what Boo can and can't watch and why.  It's a balancing act.  There are lots of good kids shows out there these days, but a lot of bad shows out there too.  Unfortunately, in our opinion, too many of the bad shows are the popular ones.  Oh well.  We've walked a fine line and Boo does have his favorites.  He loves Cailou and Elmo and Mickey Mouse.  But he's totally clueless about Dora or Diego or Thomas or Handy Manny (all good shows) as well as Sponge Bob and many of the bad shows.  Some days I feel bad, most days I don't.

Anyhow, that's my brief look at TV.  It's a complicated subject and I'm sure I'll make many more mistakes with Boo's viewing habits before he's 10, but we'll live with it.  I'm just glad that he has about 3 shows that he loves books more than he loves TV.  Yes, he often asks for TV and except at the end of the day when he's already tired and cranky, can he usually be persuaded to play with his Legos or books or something else.

But, Dr. Who and Rift is calling me and I must go.
Peace to you and may you find your diversions.

Thursday, March 03, 2011


Today is supposed to be about me and the person I’ve been closest to for the longest. Well, in all honesty, I’m having a hard time on that one. The first problem is that there just aren’t that many pictures of me floating around. I’ve got lots and lots (and lots) of pictures of Boo. I’ve got pictures of the rest of my friends and family, but not very many of me, since I’m the one behind the camera 99% of the time. The other problem is that I’ve got several options and I just can’t decide. I’m actually thankful for that part of the dilemma.

If you go with the one I’ve known the longest time, then you’ve got my Mom. Especially since you consider I’ve “known” her since before I was even born. We’ve got a really awesome mother/daughter relationship. Sure, it’s seen some bumps along the way, but in general, we’ve got it good. We’ve got it a lot better than many women I know. And for that, I’m very thankful. I can usually talk to her about anything and everything. The usual hang-up is that I’m not ready to talk about something that’s on my mind. We enjoy doing all kinds of things together and enjoy each other’s company. I’d like to think I’ve been at least a small source of strength and comfort with some things as I get older, I know she’s been a rock for me for, well, ever.

Then there’s always my Gram. Gram is the one person that Gak was worried about meeting when he was meeting my family. He was worried because he knew how much I loved and got along with my grandmother and he didn’t want to screw it up. (He had nothing to worry about, Gram loved just about everyone, and he treats me right and can actually present himself well too.) I don’t have any recent pictures of us together (maybe going back to when I was little…) and no recent ones of her either, since she’s been gone 3 years now. I do have this nice one of her from the wedding. I miss her very much and I like to think we had a really great relationship. She helped me through so many things and heard so many “secrets” of my heart. I could, and did, share just about anything with her. She was always there for me, and I like to think as I got older, I was able to help her some times like she helped me.

I’d like to put Gak in that list as well. We’ve had a very close relationship and well, I would call it a very intimate relationship too. At least, he’s the one I’ve been in that kind of relationship the longest, and the closest. Somehow, I’m not sure that’s quite what the creator of this list had in mind.

So, if I had to go with someone outside of my blood family who I’ve been closest to the longest, it would have to be Kat. She really is the sister of my heart. We’ve been there for each other through thick and thin for well over half our lives now. We’ve been inseparable since about 30 seconds after meeting. Actually, probably less time than that. It was a case of “you must be Kat,” “you must be Addey” and we were off and could care less about anyone else on the trip.

She’s saved me from myself on numerous occasions, and I’d like to think I’ve been there for her just as often. Sure, there are some things that even now she hides away from me, only because she thinks they will hurt me or make me disappointed in her. I have to call bull on that, but respect her privacy and try not to pry too much. For example, I know she’s not telling me everything about what’s going on with the cancer and her treatment. I can respect this. I don’t pry often, except when I see her really hurting more than usual. I’m there for her 125% and more. She knows it and she does lean on me, even if I have to hit her upside the head with it from time to time (stubborn Irish/Italian Catholic (recovering) that she is)!

But, in the same vein, I have kept things from her too. Things that I thought would make her disappointed in me, or things that I knew she’d try and fix but couldn’t because it was something that I’d have to do myself but wasn’t ready to.

Yes, we’ve had our moments over the years, but we yell at each other about it when it gets bad enough, and are fine 5 minutes later once the dust settles. In that respect, our relationship is very different than most relationships between women and girls that I’ve seen. We don’t hold grudges and we don’t go looking for fights. There’s no back biting or back stabbing or sabotage or name calling or being deliberately hurtful. There’s no real jealousy if we do something with some one else or another group. We will always have each other, but we also have other friends and family too. No feelings are hurt.

So, even though I’m worried sick about Kat’s treatments and illness, I try not to let it show. I have to paint the positive face on this and keep looking for the rainbows. It’s always been my job to the positive, optimistic one. She had a metric ton of tests and blood work done this week, so of course that worries me. It worries me that she’ll get sick. It worries me that they’ll find something worse and it worries me that they won’t find anything at all. But, I am determined as all hell to stand by her side and tell anyone and everyone who’s giving her a load of crap to back the hell off and they’d have to go through me. (Yes, I do resemble a growling wolf when I say that, why do you ask?) That’s what sisters do for each other. Without question. Without expecting, or even wanting, a word of thanks. We do it because we love each other all the way down to our souls.

So, I bid you all peace and may you find that one (or more) person outside yourself that you can share your soul with.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Ok, so my niece Mel is completing a 30-day photo challenge over on Facebook.  So, since it sounded like good jumping off points for blog posts, I figured I'd steal the list.  Of course, I intended on starting yesterday, but well... we see how that went.
So, the first photo request is a picture of me.  I was going to be cute and post a picture of "me" from EQII, but I can't seem to find that file this morning.  So, instead, this picture is one from January when we all went up to Camelback when Raeferd was here.  I almost didn't recognize myself in this picture.  And that's with wearing extra layers and a jacket that's at least a size or two too big.  I both didn't realize how much weight I'd put on over the years, or exactly how much I've lost in the past year or so.  It truly is astounding.  Of course, since about November, I've pretty much stopped loosing weight.
I've stepped up my activity levels though and get some kind of movement in at least 5 days a week most weeks recently, so I'm definitely loosing fat and adding some muscle.  My pants and tops alone tell me that much.  People keep telling me that I've lost enough, or I couldn't possibly want to loose more.  Well, I'm still about 10 lb from the weight I graduated college at.  I look and feel way better than I did then, but I will admit, I still have a hangup for that number on the scale some days.  Besides, this isn't a diet and I can go back to eating the way I used to whenever I've decided I've lost enough.  Well, I can do that if I want all the weight to come back.  And in reality, I'm not sure I could for more than a couple of days at a time without feeling gross and icky.  Even now when I eat too much at a meal, I know it, and it's only half of what I could have eaten in the past.  So, I think the attitude adjustment is here for good.  Which is good.  Because I want to be healthy and around for a very, very long time for my husband and son and the rest of my friends and family.  I really in a good place mentally with all of this.  My body will never be super model "perfect", but it's perfect for me.  I'm comfortable in my skin and I want to take good care of it.  I've always said, and will always believe, that as long as I'm fit and able to enjoy activity and not have my body slow me down, then I'm good to go.

We'll see where the rest of this challenge takes me.  I know that some of them will be real challenges for me.  Hopefully they'll all be good inspiration points to catch everyone up on what's been going on in our lives and some of the other random things that float through my head.

Peace to all and may you be happy with your body.